July 1, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Update: As pointed out by XDA Forum Member a3361035 in the comments below, this isn’t a complete release just yet. Rather, these are just a few GPL projects for the L-Preview release, and not a full platform update.
As we mentioned earlier today, the Android L Developer Preview is exactly that–a developer preview. However, many users understandably want to taste the future of Android today. As such, quite a few Nexus 5 and 7 owners have ventured to install the Android L Developer Preview firmware images on their daily driver devices.
Unfortunately, not every one happens to own a hammerhead or flo. But now, as a surprise to many, Google has pushed the Android L Developer Preview source code to the AOSP under the “android-l” branch. Device-specific support is available for the Nexus 4 (lge/mako), Nexus 5 (lge/hammerhead), Nexus 7 2012 WiFi (asus/grouper), Nexus 7 2012 Mobile Data (asus/tilapia), Nexus 7 2013 WiFi (asus/deb), Nexus 7 2013 Mobile Data (asus/flo), and Nexus 10 (samsung/manta).
While these files were most likely released in order to help OEMs and third party developers begin preparing for L’s release, they will also enable custom ROM developers to build Android L releases for their devices of choice. But naturally, building for unsupported devices will be more difficult due to the lack of L-enabled proprietary binaries and device trees. As these source files are only for a few GPL projects and not the entire L-Preview AOSP source, this isn’t of benefit to ROM developers just yet. However, those wishing to learn more about the L preview may find use in the code.
Developers, head over to the AOSP to peer into the code. From there, all the relevant code will be available in the relevant subfolders with the “android-l” branch. ROM developers looking for device-specific files can find the goods in the appropriate links below:
[Many thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor ryukiri and everyone else who sent this in!]
June 19, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Well, that was unexpected! After dozens of leaks leading up to the eventual release of Android 4.4.3, Android 4.4.4 has suddenly arrived without so much as a moment’s notice. The update itself has not yet begun rolling out to actual end user devices, but just like what we saw with 4.4.3 KTU84M, the factory images have been posted for the majority of the current generation Nexus fleet.
Today’s Android 4.4.4 builds come in at KTU84P for the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 (2013), and Nexus 10. Unfortunately, just as was the case with 4.4.3 KTU84M, nothing is available for the Nexus 7 (2013) LTE-enabled variant at this time. According to Sprint’s update support documentation released earlier today, this update only brings an unspecified “security fix.”
No details are known at present if this build fixes the Linux kernel CVE-2014-3153 vulnerability that was exploited by geohot in towelroot, but it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if that were to be the case. Obviously, the earlier merge to kill Dalvik and implement ART as default runtime compiler has not yet made it to shipping builds.
You can get your fix by updating your device directly via the Nexus Factory Images page. And if building custom ROMs is your thing, grab the KitKat MR2.1 Source Code and then head over to the Nexus Driver Binaries page to get started.
Update: As pointed out by XDA Senior Member phaseL, this indeed does not implement a fix to the Linux kernel CVE-2014-3153 vulnerability exploited in geohot’s towelroot, as the kernel build date (Mar 13) was dated well before a patch was made available (June 3).
June 4, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Ever since Monday’s Android 4.4.3 release, the first thing on every Android fan’s mind has been when his/her device will receive the update goods. As one would expect, current generation Google Nexus devices were the first to receive the update goods, thanks to the release of updated factory images. However, these factory images weren’t of much use to users who hadn’t yet unlocked their bootloaders and don’t want to wipe their /data partitions. Luckily, the update’s corresponding OTAs have also been rolling out to current Nexus devices, starting yesterday morning with the Nexus 5 and continuing with the WiFi-only variant of the Nexus 7 (2013).
Now, the Android 4.4.3 OTA updates for the Google Nexus 4 and Google Nexus 10 have gone live, thus enabling users who haven’t yet unlocked their bootloaders to incorporate all of the goodies found in Google’s latest and greatest. Just as we saw in the factory images, the updates for both devices come in at build number KTU84L.
Naturally, these updates will make their way out to consumer devices via staged OTA rollouts. As such, not every device will be in the initial wave. However, XDA Recognized Contributor / “Resident Archivist-in-Chief” oldblue910 has an utterly fantastic series of stock OTA reference threads for all current GPe and Nexus devices:
If you’re a Nexus 4 or Nexus 10 owner and you’ve been waiting for the captured OTAs, today’s your lucky day. Go grab the updates from the links above, enter your stock recovery, switch the recovery to ADB sideload mode, and then do the deed with ADB Sideload [file name].
June 2, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s here, folks! After a false alarm a few months ago, several rumors along the way, and update documentation courtesy of T-Mobile earlier today, we now have Android 4.4.3 for the current generation of Nexus devices.
Today’s builds come in at KTU84M for the Nexus 5, and KTU84L for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 (2013), and Nexus 10. According to T-Mobile’s support documentation released earlier today, these updates bring “security enhancements,” as well as “various bug fixes.” At this point, it is unclear whether these security enhancements include some of the root app-related issues that we talked about previously or what other bug fixes may be present. That said, we DO know that the /system write protection outside of recovery context is not present in 4.4.3. Moreover, Dalvik is still the default runtime compiler—for now. If you spot anything else, we’d love to hear in the comments below!
You can get your fix by updating your device directly via the Nexus Factory Images page. And if building custom ROMs is your thing, grab the KitKat MR2 Source Code and then head over to the Nexus Driver Binaries page to get started.
[Many thanks to XDA Senior Moderator efrant for the tip!]
February 19, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Hot off the heels of selling money pit Motorola to Lenovo, could Google be eyeing the new Moto-novo as the next Nexus phone manufacturer? According to sources over at IB Times Australia, this is highly likely. Ignoring the obvious irony in selecting the now third party Motorola as a Nexus device manufacturer, this alleged partnership could make quite a bit of business sense.
For starters, let’s consider a potential timetable. Since Nexus phones are typically released in the Fall, that would mean that R&D for such a device would have to begin a significant amount of time prior. Assuming a one year turnaround from initial design to device ship date, that would mean that the Motonovo Nexus 6 would have been under active development when the OEM was still Googorola. Furthermore, having the now Lenovo-owned Motorola produce the next Nexus device would avoid that nasty conflict-of-interest in selecting a first-party OEM as a Nexus device manufacturer. And finally, since Google now owns a small chunk of Lenovo, this gives Google a vested interest in the future of Lenovorola.
Now let’s consider the other Nexus device successors. Both the first and second generation Nexus 7 tablets have seen great commercial success. Loved by consumers and the media, these wallet-friendly tablets prove that you don’t have to sacrifice build quality in order to get a top notch device experience. And due to their success, they essentially defined what has become the archetypal Android tablet. Because of the nearly unanimous praise seen by the devices, it’s safe to assume that Asus will produce the next mid-sized Nexus tablet. And what about that shift from 7″ to 8″? (that’s what she said) Well, given the popularity of that debunked rumor of an 8″ Nexus device that ended up being a bad device mock-up, it stands to reason that Google saw consumer demand for a slightly larger midsize tablet and changed plans accordingly.
So, what about HTC? It’s no secret that the Samsung-built Nexus 10 has not seen much commercial success. Despite offering a fantastic display and relatively decent internals, many feel that the app ecosystem is simply not there for the 10″ tablet space. And beyond the lack of 10″ tablet-friendly apps, the device still is relatively sluggish, largely due to that massive WUXGA resolution screen. Where does HTC fit into all of this? Well if you recall, HTC recently held a Reddit AMA. And in this Q&A session, the Taiwanese company was asked if it had any Nexus plans. Rather than simply stating that nothing was in the works, they replied no comment.
So what do you make of all of this? What would be your ideal Nexus phone, mid-size tablet, and full-size tablet? Personally, I’d love to see a Motorola Nexus phone, but 5″ is already pushing it for me when it comes to device size. I’d also like to have a slightly bigger mid-size Nexus tablet, as my Nexus 7 v1 and v2 always felt a bit small. And about that HTC Nexus 10? That’d be the One for me! Let us know your thoughts and what you would like to see in the comments below.
[Source: IB Times Australia | Thanks to my fellow writer Tom for the heads up!]
January 14, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Update: It appears as if this was a hoax. See below for more details.
Although the Samsung-manufactured Google Nexus 10 still offers a great value with its class-leading display and relatively speedy processor, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the device is starting to get a little long in the tooth. The device, which was released in the middle of November 2012, is now well over a year old. This is essentially an eternity in the mobile device world, where generational gaps are shrinking faster than we can even keep track (e.g. Samsung’s plethora of marginally different device variants).
December 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
As you’re making your way down the list of things to try with your newly acquired tech toys, one thing you’ll undoubtedly get around to is flashing a custom ROM. Those looking for aftermarket firmware now have one more Android 4.4.2-based option, as the AOKP team has just finished incorporating Google’s latest and greatest into their nightly builds.
Currently, Android 4.4.2-based nightly builds are available for the Google Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Nexus 7 (2013), Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S 4, HTC One, Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia T, and Xperia V. More devices will be added to the nightly list as soon as they’re ready. The AOKP team recommends a full wipe when installing the latest JB-MR2 nightlies, but users on unofficial builds released after December 10 may be able to get away without a full wipe.
December 15, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
As you all know, AOSP is the purest form of Android. All Nexus devices are shipped with relatively clean Android, baked by Google engineers. Constant and frequent updates make it a quite interesting position for all Android enthusiasts. But AOSP is pretty barebone, as it lacks many of the key features of skinned ROMs that many of us have come to enjoy. This is when the brilliant Xposed Framework enters the picture.
A few months ago, we talked about an Xposed Module aimed at bringing some goodies to Samsung stock ROMs made by XDA Recognized Developer wanam. This time, wanam created a module dedicated to Nexus devices owners running KitKat. This module allows you to customize many little things to make your stock ROM more suitable for your needs. With this kit, it’s possible to change the clock position, the type and color of your battery text, and so much more. Everything can be found in the original posts, where a video demonstrating the module is also available.
Nexus devices should not be limited to AOSP features only, and Wanam Kit gives you a great chance to enhance the user experience. More information and the module itself can be found in the development thread. Keep in mind that your device must be rooted and running the latest version of Xposed Framework.
December 11, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Just two days ago, we wrote about how Android 4.4.2 was rolling out to the most recent Nexus devices. This was only four days after the Android 4.4.1 roll out. And earlier today, we took a quick look at what changed from 4.4 to 4.4.2. Now, we’re glad to report that the Android 4.4.2 source code has made its way over to the AOSP, and factory restore images are now available for the Google Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 (2013), and Nexus 10.
Ever since Android 4.4.1 was released, we were wondering when the factory images would see the light of day. Thankfully, that day is today. And while users have been able sideload the incremental OTAs manually using adb sideload, it’s great to also have the freedom to perform a clean install, directly to the most recent version—either through flash-all.bat or by manually flashing the images directly through fastboot.
Google didn’t only provide us with new factory images for all the currently supported Nexus devices. They also released the full source code to Android 4.4.2. With this, your favorite aftermarket developers can start merging the new commits over from Google’s repos into their own builds.
End users looking to download the factory restore images can do so by heading over to the Nexus Device Factory Images page. Developers looking to start building with the new Adnroid 4.4.2 code can do so by browsing the 4.4.2_r1 source code directly on Google’s Git.
NEXUS 5 hammerhead:
NEXUS 7 2013 razor:
NEXUS 7 2013 razorg
NEXUS 4 occam:
NEXUS 10 mantaray:
NEXUS 7 2012 nakasi:
NEXUS 7 2012 nakasig:
December 9, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
Google likes surprises—we all know that. Four days after releasing the Android 4.4.1, they decided to push out Android 4.4.2, which is a bugfix release of a bugfix release. It’s probably one of the fastest releases in the history of the company.
A full list of improvements is still unknown, and hopefully we will notice what has been changed when the source comes out. Thanks to Sprint’s community moderator 4Social, we know that build KOT49H brings the following improvements:
- Fix for clearing the VM Indicator
- Fix for delivery of the VM Indicator
- Various additional software fixes
- Security enhancements
The OTA should be rolled out within next few days to all supported Nexus devices. Some of the packages are already available to download from Google servers. All you need to do is to execute the command adb sideload [file name] to flash it to your device.
The links for other devices should pop out soon, as well as factory images and proprietary blobs to download.
If you get the update, let us know in the comments below what you think about this release and if the changes mentioned above live up your expectations.
December 9, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.1 KitKat is now available for the Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi-only version. Official KitKat is also available for the Nexus 10! That and much more KitKat news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that 2011 Sony Ericsson Xperia Devices get unofficial Android 4.4 KitKat and the article talking about browsing every AOSP code commit in Android 4.4.1 KitKat!
In other important news, Jordan talks about the announcement that CyanogenMod 11.0 M1 is available for current Nexus devices. Also, there are official OmniROM nightlies for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 LTE. Finally, Motorola open sources the Moto G! Be sure to check out other videos on on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
December 7, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The Google Nexus 10 is a tablet of many “firsts.” It was the first tablet to feature the supremely high resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. It was the first tablet to reach 300 ppi. It was also Google’s first (and only) Nexus-branded entrance into the 10″ tablet market. Despite the high end specs and affordable price, however, consumer adoption has been nothing groundbreaking. And with certain interface design choices introduced by Google in Android 4.4 KitKat, it would seem as if even they have forgotten about the device somewhat.
Luckily, however, the company still managed to provide Nexus 10 owners with a timely update to Android 4.4.1. The update is now rolling out to users in the form of an incremental update from Android 4.4 KRT16S to Android 4.4.1 KOT49E.
Since this is a staged rollout, not every device will receive the update immediately. Thankfully, however, you can download the update directly from Google’s Update Server. Once downloaded, you can easily sideload the update by executing the adb sideload <filename> command when your device is in recovery.
You can learn more over in the Nexus 10 Android 4.4.1 Update discussion thread. Have you updated your device? If so, let us know your thoughts on the update in the comments below!
For reference, all known OTA links for the current Nexus lineup can be found below:
November 19, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Capping off a busy day chock-full of KitKat news, Google has just released a new build of Android 4.4 to the AOSP servers and various recent Nexus devices. The new build comes in at version KRT16S, and it replaces the older KRT16O build.
The KRT16S update is currently available for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2012 – all variants), Nexus 7 (2013 – all variants), and Nexus 10. Curiously left out, however, is the Google Nexus 5, which features a different build altogether (KRT16M). Also of note, this new KRT16O build is unrelated to the mystery KOT31B build seen a week and a half ago on the Chromium Issue Tracker.
According to AOSP Moderator Conley Owens, the new build is largely a bug fix build. As such, you shouldn’t expect too many user-facing features. That said, users looking to get in on the action can easily do so by going to the Nexus Factory Images page and downloading the latest firmware images. If building from source is more up your alley, head over to the Android Git and Nexus Driver Binaries page.
[Source: Android Building Google Group]